Don’t judge a book by its cover, or in this case, a film by its title. Yes, “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga” is probably the longest and worst title a Netflix producer could come up with, but the film is worth watching. In fact, it is one of the best musical comedies to have ever premiered on Netflix.
This Netflix original begins with a young Lars Erickssong, who lives with his father who is a fisherman in the small town of Húsavík, Iceland. He is dancing to the Eurovision performance of Waterloo with his friend Sigrit. It is at this moment, Lars is determined to one day win the Eurovision Song Contest. However, years later, Lars, now a middle-aged man who has a band with Sigrit called Fire Saga, still has not been able to fulfil his dream. Every time they submit their application to Eurovision to be selected for the auditions, they have been unsuccessful. The relationship between the two main characters are also interesting to watch as well; Sigrit who has feelings for her partner and Lars who doesn’t reciprocate as he is too consumed with reaching for his dreams.
However, one day, their luck changes. Through a series of unfortunate events which befall others, they are chosen to represent Iceland. From that point on starts an amusing adventure, filled with ludicrous, silly, stupid, sometimes totally unrelated events teamed with music, which is best left unsaid and is for audiences to view for themselves.
The “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga” never has come at a better time especially since (the actual) Eurovision Song Contest, which was supposed to take place in May, was cancelled due to the virus outbreak. Under usual circumstances, people love comedic escapism, but this year which has had its fill of health, social, and mental challenges, it’s more needed than ever. The theme is unique, and shooting the film in Iceland, a relatively less known country, gives it a fresh feel. The story is sweet and funny, with dramatic, ironic twists throughout even though the script is sometimes is quite predictable. Cameos also contribute a major draw to the film with the appearance of Demi Lovato and former Eurovision contestants from previous years.
Will Ferrell make his comeback playing the middle-age Lars Erickssong. He does a fine job in bringing out the goofiness and comical aspects of the buffoon character he plays, mostly through sexual and physical comedy. However, he does do a similar take in his classics such as Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby but this time without American satire and arrogance, what is the point? He is saved by the co-protagonist Rachel McAdams, whose performance as Sigrit is very refreshing and natural and it provides some of the most laughable moments when her character portrays someone who does not know much about the world while (spoiler alert) believing in elves who grant wishes.
While “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga” is not a bad film, the soundtracks are a standout. I promise you, you will be more than tempted and most likely find it impossible not to sing along with the tracks!